Salem’s Lot by Steven King

Title: Salem’s Lot
Author: Steven King
Genre: Horror
Rating: 5/5

Salem’s Lot is a small town located in Maine with little excitement and fewer secrets. Ben Mears, a once inhabitant of the small town travels back in hopes of gaining material for his new book. Around the same time, two strangers also move to Salem’s Lot. One is a pale lanky man named Straker who has an unsettling demeanor and the other is Barlow, a man who is supposedly Straker’s business partner, but no one has seen him. As people begin to go missing or turn up dead for unknown causes, it becomes clear that the fate of this small town may be in jeopardy.

“The basis of all human fears, he thought. A closed door, slightly ajar.”

My father has always been a huge fan of Steven King so when I decided I wanted to read a piece of his work, I knew my father was the right person to go to. He recommended Salem’s Lot to start with and I wasn’t disappointed. One of the things that stood out to me the most was the attention to character development. Salem’s Lot has some of the best character development that I have witnessed in a book. Steven King went to great lengths to create an image for every occupant in the town and show how their story connects to the overall outcome. Although this made the book a little slow at first, it made the ending much more impactful.

“The town has a sense, not of history, but of time, and the telephone poles seem to know this. If you lay your hand against one, you can feel the vibration from the wires deep within the wood, as if souls had been imprisoned in there and were struggling to get out.”

Being that this was also one of my first horror books, I was pleasantly surprised by how creepy it really was. I chose to read this for Halloween and I can confidently say it gave me the scare that I was looking for. Reading it at night had me questioning every weird sound that I heard and double checking that my windows were locked. I think horror books are more unsettling than some horror movies because you can sit down to watch a movie and in a couple of hours, you see the demons removed or the murderer caught following the end of the story, but in books, unless you are an avid reader and have the time to read it all in one day, you have to put it down in the middle and go to sleep while the monsters are still very much alive. 

“That above all else. They did not look out their windows. No matter what noises or dreadful possibilities, no matter how awful the unknown, there was an even worse thing: to look the Gorgon in the face.”

As I mentioned above, this was my first Steven King book, but I plan to check out other pieces of his work. My father has already recommended I try Amityville Horror so that is next on my list! Salem’s Lot has also been made into a major motion picture so I will have to add that to my watch list as well! 

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